Like many Melbournians, you’ve probably got plans to watch the AFL Grand Final with friends this weekend. And if there’s a BBQ involved, you may be wondering what you should take. Well, we’re here to help. Today we’ve got 3 awesome side dishes that’ll go with any BBQ feast.

If you’re unsure whether salad is really necessary at a BBQ, this chorizo, sweet potato and avocado salad will convince you it does. If you want to counteract all those snags with some healthy vege, give the chargrilled broccoli a go. Or if you want something that you can make in advance, try the pumpkin with pesto recipe and assemble everything at the last minute.

Chorizo, sweet potato and avocado salad

Prep Time15 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 15 mins

 800 g sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1cm batons
 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 large dried chorizo, sliced on an angle
 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
 1 avocado, sliced
 80 g flaked almonds
Dressing
 100 g sour cream
 1 garlic clove, crushed
 Juice of 1 lemon
1

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Evenly spread out sweet potato, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, then add chorizo and roast for a further 30 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3

Meanwhile, lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden. Set aside.

4

To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbs water in a bowl. Season to taste.

5

To serve, layer watercress, sweet potato, chorizo and avocado. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle over almonds.

Yields6 Servings

Ingredients

 800 g sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1cm batons
 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 large dried chorizo, sliced on an angle
 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
 1 avocado, sliced
 80 g flaked almonds
Dressing
 100 g sour cream
 1 garlic clove, crushed
 Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Evenly spread out sweet potato, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, then add chorizo and roast for a further 30 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3

Meanwhile, lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden. Set aside.

4

To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbs water in a bowl. Season to taste.

5

To serve, layer watercress, sweet potato, chorizo and avocado. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle over almonds.

Chorizo, sweet potato and avocado salad


Chargrilled broccoli with feta and lemon

Prep Time30 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time45 mins

 2 heads of broccoli, cut into small pieces
 2 lemons, cut in half
 100 ml olive oil + 2 tbsp extra
 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
 1 clove of garlic, crushed
 ½ cup coarsely chopped mint
 ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
 ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
 100 g feta cheese
 80 g pistachios
1

Preheat a grill pan or BBQ to high heat. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil and chargrill broccoli until charred and just tender (5-8 minutes). Remove and spread out over a tray to cool.

2

Grill the lemons, cut side down, until charred. Remove and allow to cool slightly before squeezing into a bowl. Add 100ml olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic and season to taste.

3

Lightly toast the pistachios in a dry pan until golden. Set aside.

4

To assemble, gently toss together broccoli, mint, parsley and onion with enough dressing to lightly coat. Crumble in feta and add pistachios and gently toss before transferring to a serving plate.

Yields6 Servings

Ingredients

 2 heads of broccoli, cut into small pieces
 2 lemons, cut in half
 100 ml olive oil + 2 tbsp extra
 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
 1 clove of garlic, crushed
 ½ cup coarsely chopped mint
 ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
 ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
 100 g feta cheese
 80 g pistachios

Directions

1

Preheat a grill pan or BBQ to high heat. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil and chargrill broccoli until charred and just tender (5-8 minutes). Remove and spread out over a tray to cool.

2

Grill the lemons, cut side down, until charred. Remove and allow to cool slightly before squeezing into a bowl. Add 100ml olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic and season to taste.

3

Lightly toast the pistachios in a dry pan until golden. Set aside.

4

To assemble, gently toss together broccoli, mint, parsley and onion with enough dressing to lightly coat. Crumble in feta and add pistachios and gently toss before transferring to a serving plate.

Chargrilled broccoli with feta and lemon


Pumpkin w/ pesto, chilli & pepitas

Prep Time30 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

 800 g kent pumpkin
 ½ tbsp sweet paprika
 ¼ tbsp ground cumin
 2 long red chillis, thinly sliced
 1 tbsp olive oil
Pesto
 ½ a clove of garlic
 1 bunch of basil, roughly chopped
 ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
 40 g pine nuts
 extra virgin olive oil
1

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2

Spoon seeds from pumpkin and pick out any pumpkin pulp. In a small bowl, stir together pumpkin seeds, paprika, cumin and olive oil. Season well and scatter over a baking tray.

3

Thickly slice the pumpkin, lay out evenly on a lined baking tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4

Cook pumpkin in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the seeds to the oven and cook until seeds are golden and pumpkin is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove and set aside.

5

Meanwhile, to make the pesto, lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Once just golden, add to a pestle and mortar with basil and garlic and pound to a fine paste. Add half the parmesan and enough oil to create a runny consistency. Season to taste.

6

To serve, layer pumpkin on a serving tray. Drizzle with pesto and scatter over toasted papitas, chilli and remaining parmesan.

Yields6 Servings

Ingredients

 800 g kent pumpkin
 ½ tbsp sweet paprika
 ¼ tbsp ground cumin
 2 long red chillis, thinly sliced
 1 tbsp olive oil
Pesto
 ½ a clove of garlic
 1 bunch of basil, roughly chopped
 ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
 40 g pine nuts
 extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2

Spoon seeds from pumpkin and pick out any pumpkin pulp. In a small bowl, stir together pumpkin seeds, paprika, cumin and olive oil. Season well and scatter over a baking tray.

3

Thickly slice the pumpkin, lay out evenly on a lined baking tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4

Cook pumpkin in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the seeds to the oven and cook until seeds are golden and pumpkin is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove and set aside.

5

Meanwhile, to make the pesto, lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Once just golden, add to a pestle and mortar with basil and garlic and pound to a fine paste. Add half the parmesan and enough oil to create a runny consistency. Season to taste.

6

To serve, layer pumpkin on a serving tray. Drizzle with pesto and scatter over toasted papitas, chilli and remaining parmesan.

Pumpkin w/ pesto, chilli & pepitas